Estonian Orchestral Pages of Our Time with Paavo Järvi

Estonian Premieres. Tõnu Kõrvits (°1969) : To the Moonlight. Ulo Krigul (°1978) : Chordae; The Bow. Helena Tulve (°1972) : The shadow behind you. Tauno Aints (°1975) : Opening Estonia. Lepo Sumera (1950-2000) : Olympic Music I. Estonian Festival Orchestra, conductor Paavo Järvi. 2012/13/1420/21. Instructions in English, French and German. 58.35. Alpha 863.

Founded in 2011 by Paavo Järvi (°1962) who was born in Tallinn, the Estonian Festival Orchestra already has to its credit, for the Alpha label, a Shostakovich album in 2018 (Symphony No. 6 and Sinfonietta)and, two years ago, a disc dedicated to mythos, the ninth symphony by Erkki-Sven Tüür and on other pages by this creator (article by Olivier Vrins from August 7, 2020). Here, from the same publisher, is a third testimony to the quality of this phalanx whose value international critics have already underlined. This time it is a panorama of symphonic pages by five Estonian composers, born between 1950 and 1975.

The program begins with a poetic score by Tõnu Kõrvits, whose extensive catalog (at Ondine, ECM, BIS, etc.) testifies to his interest in landscapes and nature, as well as in Nordic, secular and religious traditions. The refined and distinguished language of this composer finds in To the Moonlightscore in three movements from 2020 dedicated to Paavo Järvi, a beautiful subject of colorful orchestral meditation, with the use of blues techniques, under the inspiration of a song by Jimmy Webb, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, as stated by the author of the notice, Nele-Eva Steinfield. Two works by Ülo Krigul, who notably trained in Vienna, are on display. Versatile, this creator has also composed for the theater and the cinema, and is known in the circles of electroacoustics and jazz; he is an arranger for specialized ensembles. Chordae (2013), page with marked contrasts, with rhythms that sometimes lead to violence, and above all The Bow (2021), dedicated each time to Järvi, testify to a diversified art. The last work, very fluctuating and ardently orchestrated, plays on the meanings of the word “bow” which translates as well by the bow, the bow, the knot, the prow or the stem. The notice clarifies that Krigul sees her as a grateful salute to musicians who manage to make music despite the difficult times we live in.

The shadow behind you by Helena Tulve is, like other scores by this composer, rooted in the search for sound. The only student of Erkki-Sven Tüür for composition, Tulve is drawn to Gregorian chant, oriental music and French spectral music. In this mysterious and intimate score from 2011, the initial violas da gamba have been replaced by a viola and two cellos. The title is inspired by a Japanese proverb: Look at the sun, and the shadow will fall behind you. The global climate is part of a hushed and meditative, even contemplative context, which calls on the resources of the soul, in a very concentrated orchestral fabric. climate change with estonia (2014) by Tauno Aints, student of Lepo Sumera for composition. The epic character of this overture follows a commission he was given to write a piece for children’s choirs on the theme of the homeland. The deployment of orchestral forces alternates with poetic evocations of beautiful inspiration. This composition should be seen as a tribute to this country on the shores of the Baltic, which is musically rich.

Lepo Sumera was only fifty years old when he died in 2000. He had studied singing with Veljo Tormis (1930-2017), the Estonian master in this field, and composition with Heino Eller (1887-1970). Sumera, whose six remarkable symphonies dominate the catalog (published by BIS), very quickly became interested in electroacoustic music, of which he is a pioneer, as well as in computer creation. We discover here its Olympic Music I of 1980, intended for the opening ceremony for the regatta competitions in Tallinn, on the occasion of the 1980 Olympic Games. A work of circumstance, skilfully constructed, which does not neglect grandeur and power.

This interesting panorama of recent Estonian music was recorded between 2012 and 2021. It shows, thanks to a careful interpretation, the vitality that animates these creators in a personalized and original line, which makes their art immediately accessible.

Sound: 9 Record: 8.5 Repertoire: 8.5 Interpretation: 10

John Lacroix

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Estonian Orchestral Pages of Our Time with Paavo Järvi

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